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Public Transit

Downtown Multiuse and Bus Stopover Facility

The proposed multiuse and bus stopover facility would provide an off-street location in Downtown San Diego where transit vehicles can be parked for short periods between runs. The facility also could be part of a mixed-use development project including office, retail, and/or residential space.

This stopover facility is needed to maintain bus schedules and to provide a location where transit operators can rest at the start and conclusion of routes. Buses are currently being parked at temporary  locations curbside around downtown. The stopover facility would serve existing Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) local routes, along with Rapid 215 and 235, and Rapid Express 280 and 290, which began operation in 2014. The facility also will serve the South Bay Rapid, which is scheduled to begin service in 2018.

Project Location

As part of the preliminary planning process, SANDAG analyzed five potential sites to identify which locations best meet operational needs and have the least impact on surrounding neighborhoods. The evaluation identified two sites in Downtown San Diego’s Civic Core neighborhood as the most suitable. The first potential site is on a block bounded by A Street, Union Street, B Street, and State Street. The second is bounded by A Street, Front Street, B Street, and Union Street. To ensure on-time transit service for downtown riders, the stopover facility needs to be located close to routes that terminate near the America Plaza Trolley Station and Santa Fe Train Depot. Because most buses in the facility would park for 15 minutes or less, the close location ensures that buses operate on schedule. It also minimizes operational costs and the need for additional bus circulation on downtown surface streets.

Project Need

The goal of the stopover facility is to provide a permanent off-street location for buses to park between runs, provide a central location for driver breaks, free up on-street parking spaces, and preserve existing spaces. The project would accommodate existing local bus routes and Rapid services that currently park on the street in western downtown, thereby making more on-street parking available to residents and businesses.

The potential multiuse concept is based on the goal of SANDAG saving money by owning the building that houses its office space, as well as providing an opportunity for mixed-use development on a block of land in a vibrant area of downtown.

For information on project features, see the fact sheet.

Project Status

SANDAG completed a site assessment analysis in 2015 to compare the five candidate sites. The findings of the analysis were presented at the SANDAG Board of Directors meeting on May 22, 2015. The Board voted to eliminate Sites 1, 2, and 3 from further consideration and pursue Sites 4 and 5 for further evaluation. SANDAG staff will now develop a detailed project description, determine options for California Environmental Quality Act compliance, and determine options for site acquisition. This information will be brought to the SANDAG Board of Directors in early 2016.

Throughout the process, SANDAG will continue to engage the public to provide information about the project, answer questions and concerns, and seek input on design elements.

Project Costs

Approximately $16 million has been allocated to the stopover facility project from TransNet, the voter approved half-cent sales tax for transportation projects administered by SANDAG.

Project Manager

Laura Cote, Director of Administration
Phone: (619) 699-6947, Email: laura.cote@sandag.org

Miriam Kirshner, Senior Regional Planner
Phone: (619) 699-6995, Email: miriam.kirshner@sandag.org

For media inquiries, please contact David Hicks at (619) 699-6939 or david.hicks@sandag.org.